For David and Wu Han

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COMPOSERS: Adolphe,Auerbach,Jalbert,Tsontakis
LABELS: ArtistLed
WORKS: Duos for piano and cello by Adolphe, Auerbach, Jalbert, Tsontakis
PERFORMER: David Finckel (cello), Wu Han (piano)


David Finckel and Wu Han founded the ArtistLed label in 1997. The pieces on this CD have been commissioned for them since the label was founded, and all exploit their technical facility as well as their emotional expressiveness.

Jalbert’s Sonata (2007) develops from a menacing opening, picking up momentum for the scherzo-like second movement, relegating the piano to an accompanying role behind the impassioned, anguished cello part for the third and ending with the frantic Marcato

Auerbach’s intense Sonata (2002) pits the often desperate humanity of the cello against piano writing which suggests implacable, yet not necessarily malign, forces. The work moves towards a resolution in which both instruments seem to climb effortlessly into another realm.


The other two pieces here are more intimate, drawing inspiration directly from Finckel and Wu Han’s relationship. Adolphe’s Couple (1998) is predominantly lyrical; Tsontakis’s Mirror Image (2008) pairs two charming yet unsentimental love duos with starker yet approachable movements. Barry Witherden